Laudable Linkage

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It has been a little while since I have shared noteworthy reads with you. Here are a few:

Encouragement for Bible Reading From Puritan Women, HT to Out of the Ordinary. “Let these seventeenth-century women remind you that even if there are parts of the Bible you feel upset about or don’t understand, there is life to be found in it because God speaks to you through it.”

Always Wanting More. As Christian women, we encourage each other not to compare ourselves lest it damage our self-esteem. But the issue is much large than self-esteem.

The Cost of Surrounding Yourself With Negative People. I’ve had some of these same thoughts. Avoiding negative people is listed in a lot of self-help advice for increase your own happiness and productivity. But what if God wants you to be a light to those people? And didn’t Jesus reach out to those who were negative in every way?

Whatever Happened to Civil Debate, HT to Challies. “We’ve simply lost the ability to think deeply, engage opinions different from ours, and do so in a civilized manner.”

Thank You, God, for Failure, HT to Challies.. There is much we can learn from it.

Don’t Sing Noisy Songs, HT to Challies.. No, it’s not about contemporary vs. traditional or loud vs. soft.

What Not to Say to Someone in the Hospital.

A Simple Hinge. Neat connection to inward beauty.

I’m noting this one just because this phrase is so apt: “…the spirit of this age, which eschews thoughtful argument about difficult issues for moronic and often malicious soundbites.”

On Writing (More) by Hannah Anderson makes much sense to me though it goes against much of the other writing advice I have seen. Except the part about comments: I enjoy comments. 🙂

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Finalists, HT to Laura. These are always fun. One of my favorites:

Happy Saturday!

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Can We Let God Down?

I was listening to a video yesterday when one of the speakers mentioned a fear of “letting God down” by failing in the endeavor being discussed. The other speaker, a pastor, said, “You can’t let God down. You weren’t holding Him up in the first place.”

And I thought…..seriously? You’re going to use a cutesy catchy comeback to answer someone’s wrestling over whether they can be victorious in a path they’re walking before the Lord? Although what he said was true, it just seemed a flippant response that didn’t really address the person’s concern.

According to Dictionary.com, the verb phrase “let down” can mean “to disappoint; fail; to betray.”

Can we disappoint, fail, and betray God?

Of COURSE we can. And it is no surprise to Him: “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame;he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:13-14).

What should we do if that happens?

If it involves sin, we can confess it to God. I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

We can ask for wisdom to know what to do and to learn from our mistakes. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

We can let it be a reminder of our weakness and our need for God’s strength. II Corinthians 12:9-10 say, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

We can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.

Romans 8:1 tells us “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Our faults and failures will never affect our standing with Christ or His love for us. When we become God’s children by repentance and believing on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, He will never cast us out or disown us or disinherit us or remove us from the family. Our standing with Him is based on Christ’s righteousness, not our own, and that will never fail. We can rest secure in His love.

But there will be times when we fail, and He has to bring chastening as any loving parent would. This isn’t punishment but rather discipline which leads to holiness.

Should we let a fear of failure choke any endeavors for God? No.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.-H. Stanley Judd

God does tell us to “walk circumspectly” (carefully) and to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” but that doesn’t mean He wants us cowering in a corner, afraid to take any step lest it be a wrong one or lest we fail somewhere along the way. He promises “grace to help in time of need.” Without Him we can do nothing, but through Him we can do all things.

Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9